Your sales force is the engine of your company, so keeping that engine motivated and stable in their jobs is key to the overall stability of your company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are over 14 million salespeople in the United States. Ensuring that those folks are happy at work and aren’t looking for a new job allows your organization to save money related to frequent turnover and eliminate slower productivity associated with new employees while they learn the ropes.
In order to grow a happy sales team, we have identified three key categories to pay attention to maintain satisfaction: compensation, career-pathing and company culture contributions.
Modern sales organizations typically compensate their reps with some combination of base salary and commission on sales. It incorporates an element of motivation to sell more, which is great for the company—but what about for the individual salesperson?
Adjusting compensation to incorporate base salary and commission makes sense, but you can also compensate salespeople at different phases of the game with more than money. Non-cash rewards can be used to communicate a job well-done to each member of your team and leave a lasting effect, whereas cash is typically viewed as a contractual compensation from employer to employee.
You can give non-cash rewards for scheduling meetings with customers, sending out contracts, or even making that initial introduction. Closing is obviously one of the most important thing a salesperson can do, but innovating compensation structure to capitalize on what motivates each individual person can not only help your salespeople stay productive, it can help them stay happy.
Career-pathing is used by employees to chart their course within an organization for their career path and career development. When companies help their employees with their career path plan, employees feel like their work is making a difference for their organization and that they are also working toward the next step in their career.
SHRM has created tools to help organizations build career-pathing progressions to help companies build paths for their employees. This proves how critical this can be to ensure employee retention within organizations. Without clear parameters around career-pathing employees can lose sight of their ability to progress within the organization and often look elsewhere. Taking the time to build out a proper development for your salespeople can ensure stability within your current pool of talent.
The modern workforce has quite the pressure placed on them to “make an impact” in the world, not just in their careers. Consider your employees’ experience beyond their daily job responsibilities and find ways to tie their unique skills and experiences to their work. Allowing employees to feel like they have personally contributed to the culture actually makes employees happier with their jobs.
According to SHRM’s 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Study, 56% of employees who had the opportunity to use their skills and abilities at work are more satisfied with their job. Contributing beyond daily responsibilities may not seem like it should be a priority, but for salespeople especially, to break up pressure and monotony, give them a creative outlet to grow your organization and its personality.
Sales incentives and sales retention rates are truly different from all departments. Salespeople have more pressure on them consistently, they need to be acknowledged for their contributions more regularly, and it costs your company more money to lose and replace a salesperson than any other role. So, keep your salespeople satisfied, meet their needs, and you'll reap the benefits of stability and continuity within your organization.